Home > Communities & conservation > Dakatcha Woodland, Our Forest – our Future
The title comes from the hearts of the Environmental and wildlife clubs members in the different schools around Dakatcha that A Rocha Kenya is working with. Dakatcha woodlands is an internationally recognised forest. It is home to some of the world’s threatened species. It is a special place and ought to kept special.

 

Beginning January to March, 1st term has been quite an interesting term for environmental club members from schools around Dakatcha Woodland and the Environmental Education (EE) team. What started out as four schools in January has over the term grown to ten, allowing the EE team to share and discuss forests in Kenya with particular concentration on the local forest, Dakatcha Woodland.

2019-ee-end-of-term-1

Mulunguni Primary School

We simply started out discussing forests in Kenya with most of the learners showing their surprise that Dakatcha Woodland is a well known forest and not just a village name (Dakacha). With a clear picture of forests, it was easy for the learners who have covered the topic in Social Studies and Science to share the general importance of forests. The EE team further introduced the importance of their local forest citing facts such as it being an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area where globally endangered birds such as the Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit and the Clarke’s Weaver have been found to live and nest.

The lessons also explored local trees and what they are commonly used for which elicited excitement to the learners who could name more than 10 indigenous trees and their uses. At this point, we created a challenge for the learners to only name a tree and uses that are not wood, charcoal or timber. Amazingly, the learners gave examples of trees used for; medicine, soap, rope, and many more as in the picture below.

2019-ee-end-of-term-12

This information shows how much value there is in traditional and indigenous knowledge that could be explored for innovations that could develop the rural communities without damaging the forest.

The March lesson unlike the past two involved playing a game “The Shrinking Forest” to teach on why forests need to be used sustainably. We had the learners take the characters of local trees, birds and animals and a community entrepreneur who used the forest for; charcoal, agricultural expansion, logging, and building. Through the activity the learners were able to see the forest diminish into a desert while benefiting a small group of people. By the end of the lesson, all learners were able to understand how forest damage will affect the current and future generations.

As we close the term, the learners have all connected to the message that their forest is their future and the two cannot be de-linked. We look forward to having practical action projects in the schools to ensure the conservation of Dakatcha Woodland. For now the learners are keen to send the message below;

2019-ee-end-of-term-13

We believe in promoting community understanding of the forest and its value through education and practical engagements to ensure a healthy future for both human populations and biodiversity. As a whole, we aim to achieve; better education, healthier ecosystems, preserve biodiversity and secure the future for the community.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*